Articles about Azure

Enterprise Microsoft Azure users get free one-year support


In order to hasten the transition from its traditional retail products to its cloud based products, Microsoft has just announced that it will be offering one year of free technical support to Azure users.

From May 1, 2016 through to June 30, 2017 users who purchase Azure Services under an Enterprise Agreement (EA) will receive a year of free support from the company.

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Cloud native networking helps businesses exploit public clouds

cloud storage

As more businesses turn to the use of public cloud services, they're keen to find ways to gain more visibility into their deployments and make them more secure.

Cloud native networking pioneer Aviatrix Systems is addressing this with the launch of its Cloud Native Networking 2.0. The solution combines a software-defined network controller and software gateways to enable businesses using a combination of public, private and hybrid clouds to quickly and easily roll out virtual private clouds.

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Weak Lumia sales prove Microsoft should put an end to Windows 10 Mobile


It is hard to take Windows 10 Mobile seriously when Microsoft announces sales of just 2.3 million Lumias in a whole quarter. If you ever thought that the platform can actually be competitive in today's market, now is the time to wake up. This year, smartphones sales are expected to reach 1.5 billion units. If Microsoft manages to move 10 million Lumias in 2016, Windows 10 Mobile's market share would likely be around the one percent mark.

Microsoft is not the only Windows Phone/Windows 10 Mobile vendor, but it is the largest by far. It sells about 90 percent of the smartphones running the tiled operating system, so its performance has a major impact on the platform's popularity.

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Microsoft Azure's Container Service now generally available

Shipping containers

Microsoft Azure's Container Service in now available to help companies deploy and manage containers using their choice of software.

Users of the service will be able to move their container workloads to the cloud easily and can still run their operations using open-source tools. The two most popular tools -- Mesosphere’s Data Centre Operating System (DC/OS) and Docker’s Swarm and Compose -- will be both be supported by Azure Container Service and users will be able to continue running their operations using the one they prefer.

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Microsoft releases open source CentOS-based 'Linux Data Science Virtual Machine' for Azure


Microsoft is both an open source and Linux champion nowadays -- on the surface at least (pun intended). In other words, while it does embrace those things, we may not know the motivation of the Windows-maker regarding them. Regardless, Linux and open source are now important to the Redmond company.

Today, Microsoft announces a CentOS-based VM image for Azure called 'Linux Data Science Virtual Machine'. The VM has pre-installed tools such as Anaconda Python Distribution, Computational Network Toolkit, and Microsoft R Open. It focuses on machine learning and analytics, making it a great choice for data scientists.

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Microsoft and R3 blockchain partnership aims to reduce fraud and costs


Microsoft has joined forces with a collective of more than 40 financial institutions to help push the development of blockchain technology. Working with the R3 consortium, Microsoft wants to develop and test new technologies to replace and streamline old systems used in banking and enterprise industries.

The announcement comes as the company launches the first Microsoft Envision event with the aims of bringing together business leaders to pool ideas for the digital age. Using Microsoft Azure, the company wants its partners to expand the use of Blockchain-as-a-Service and bring about change faster.

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Mendix products now available on Microsoft Azure

sunrise sky

Platform-as-a-service provider Mendix and Microsoft today announced a partnership which will bring Mendix services on the Azure cloud platform.

Mendix says the new partnership will allow Azure customers to seamlessly access Mendix’s rapid application development capabilities, adding that two versions are available -- free and commercial.

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Microsoft offers Red Hat Enterprise Linux in Azure Marketplace

Red Hat logo

Azure already supports a number of major Linux distributions, like CentOS and openSUSE, but Microsoft is now taking things one step further by offering Red Hat Enterprise Linux instances through the cloud platform's Marketplace.

This comes as a direct result of Microsoft's partnership with Red Hat, which, among other things, is meant to "help customers embrace hybrid cloud computing by providing greater choice and flexibility deploying Red Hat solutions" on the software giant's cloud platform.

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Lack of expertise passes security as top cloud challenge


The latest State of the Cloud report from cloud management specialist RightScale reveals that a lack of resources and expertise is now the top cloud challenge -- cited by 32 percent of respondents.

This means it has overtaken security, mentioned by only 29 percent. Even the most security conscious respondents -- enterprise central IT teams and security pros -- no longer see security as their main challenge.

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Microsoft Azure IoT hub is now available -- here's what you need to know

Internet of things

Microsoft has released the latest component of its cloud IoT suite, the Azure IoT hub, which was first announced back in September.

Azure IoT Hub is designed to make it easy to connect IoT devices to the cloud as well as allowing bidirectional communication, with device to cloud telemetry and cloud to device commands.

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Ubuntu Linux and open source play key role in Microsoft Azure Stack Technical Preview


The current perceptions of Microsoft by some home users can be quite negative. This is likely due to privacy concerns with Windows 10, which is a legitimate issue. With that said, the company is still the darling of the enterprise. After all, Windows 7 and Office are integral tools for many successful businesses.

Windows and Office aside, another wildly popular business tool from Microsoft is Azure. This cloud platform is great, but some companies wisely prefer an on-premises solution. Enter Azure Stack. Today, Microsoft announces that the first Technical Preview of its hybrid cloud/datacenter product is coming this week. Bigger news, arguably, is that Canonical's operating system, Ubuntu Linux, will play a key role. Once again, Microsoft is leveraging open source -- noticing a trend here, folks?

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Microsoft Azure now lets you backup VMware instances


Microsoft has launched an enhanced version of its Azure Site Recovery (ASR) targeted especially for VMware customers.

The ASR concept allows you to backup virtual machines into the Azure storage, update them and then run the VMs in Azure as a disaster recovery option. Microsoft charges $54 a month per VM instance stored in Azure, but doesn’t pay any compute or storage costs until you run the VM, which would make sense as it is only a file until the VM is spun up.

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Here are the system requirements for Microsoft Azure Stack

Nope, Microsoft isn't getting into Android with a Cyanogen investment

Microsoft has announced the hardware requirements needed to run its Azure Stack – the upcoming on-premise hybrid version of the Azure cloud.

The Azure Stack first gets installed on a server and delivers Azure services in a customer’s datacentre, enabling developers and IT professionals to build, deploy and operate cloud applications using consistent tools, processes and artifacts.

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The enterprise trends of 2015


Businesses tend to be quite conservative in their approach to technology, so it's always interesting to look at what's been sparking their interest.

Identity and mobility management specialist Okta has released a new report, based on analysis of its customers, looking at the big winners and losers in the enterprise over the past year.

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Microsoft has a bright future, says Goldman Sachs

Future Man Looking

Goldman Sachs thinks Microsoft is making a comeback. The investment banking firm has produced a 22-page document -- titled Righting a Wrong -- looking at Microsoft’s current business, the recent changes it has made and it’s future opportunities.

The research analyzes Microsoft’s core businesses of Azure, Windows and Office and believes that the future looks bright for the company, going as far as to change its stock rating from Sell to Neutral.

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